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"The Kentucky Housewife" by Lettice Bryan

Discussion in 'Cook Books and their Authors' started by donna, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    "The Kentucky Housewife" was first published in 1839. It is more than a collection of recipes. The book is a collection of tales. From Mrs. Lettice Bryan the reader learns not only what foods were available in the 1830s, but how women cooked, how and when foods were eaten, and how families entertained on the American frontier.

    There are more than 1300 recipes in this book. "The Kentucky Housewife" is a combination of three distinct cultures. Its heartbeat is native American food, corn, beans, squashes, seafood, and game, nuts and berries, and assorted meats. But also blended in are recipes from European colonists that feature wheat, dairy products, and domesticated animals, especially, the pig, and the European influence of using iron cookware rather than the skins, bags, gourds, and pottery used by most cooks of the day. Many African contributions are also included, for it was the Africans who brought subtropical produce, as well as black-eyed peas, okra, eggplant, and yams, breads, such as cassava and arrowroot, and a genius for seasoning foods to perfection in a hot, Southern climate in the United States.

    Thorough and articulate, Mrs. Lettice Bryan, gives readers of this book, one of the earliest and most complete pictures of Southern cooking.

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  3. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    This book doesn't only have food recipes but has great sections on Preparations for the Sick, Simple Remedies, Cosmetics and Perfumerics In edition I have there is interesting introduction by Bill Neal dated October, 1990
  4. Blessmag

    Blessmag 1st Lieutenant

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    Sounds like good 'grazing'. Probably a "thoroughbred" job done with it! Would have to avoid eating like a 'horse'.

    Serious, does sound good! THX
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  5. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave First Sergeant

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    am I pronouncing her name right "Lettuce"?
  6. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    I really don't known. I thought Let__ tice. Maybe some others know. It is a different first name.
  7. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave First Sergeant

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    may be a pen name. good one considering the book.
  8. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    It is her real first name. According to "Think Baby Names:

    Lettice meaning and origin

    Lettice is a girl's name as a variant of Letitia (Latin), and the meaning of Lettice is "joy". The baby name Lettice sounds like Letice and Letticia. Other similar names are Lettie and Letrice.

    It goes on to say Lettice is not a popular first name for girls.

    From: http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meanings/O/Lettice
  9. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave First Sergeant

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  10. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    There is not much information on her life. Here is what I did find. It is from descendants of Virginia to Kentucky Pierces/Pierce family

    Lettice Pierce was born in 1805 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. She married Edmond Bryan on Jul 15, 1823 in Adair County, Ky. Many of the recipes in her book, "The Kentucky Housewife" are much older than 19th century and were probably handed down from the Pierce and Bryan families.

    Kentucky has some great historical records. I have been able to find births and marriages going back to early 1800s for members of my family and my husband's family. Many counties have these records and they been put in books. The main library of my county has a wonderful history area with all kinds of county books. I have found land grants, birth records, marriage records and death records for my and others Kentucky ancestors. I am also lucky that the library has Ancestry.com and as long as you are working on genealogy you can use the special computers to go to ancestry. I have put in many an hour there. Actually, this weekend I was there Sat. and Sunday afternoon working on my husband's ancestors.
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  11. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    I am bringing up this thread on this historic cookbook. Mr. Barry has just posted on this book. Thought I would supplement his thread with information on the cookbook and its author.
  12. Craig L Barry

    Craig L Barry First Sergeant

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    Something like 1300 receipts (recipes) in that cookbook and few have been improved upon since she collected them.
    donna likes this.

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